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Abstract

The aim of the article is an attempt to reconstruct a description of the image of Arab World on the basis of selected (yet representative) writings from the second half of the 18th century. In that period, due to the trending Enlightenment orientalism understood as a fascination with the Orient and references made to it in the culture, the Arab world appeared among Polish representatives of the Age of Reason. These trends were expressed in art, customs, literature and – in the form of various concepts and images – in social consciousness. These images differed between each other both in terms of content and form. Some of them aimed to depict the Arab world objectively and extensively, whereas the other, on the contrary, were merely delineations focused on particular elements of the Arab world, depicting only one or a few aspects. Some of them, such as the image of Arabia Felix or utopian reminiscences refer to the tradition and update it. Some of them were created for the time being. Nevertheless, each of them reflects the topics, problems and questions which concerned the minds in Enlightenment Poland. Moreover, relatively high correlation between European archetypes and the image of the Arab world which occurs in the writings of the Polish Enlightenment confirms that Poland belongs to the Old Continent cultural group, which was crucial for the promoters of Polish Enlightenment.
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